Environmental Investigations in Progress

Environmental Investigations in Progress

How we manage site investigations

The discovery of asbestos containing material is not uncommon across Australia due to its popularity as a building material until the 1980s. In Penrith, Council treats the discovery of asbestos with strict policies and procedures as the safety of our staff and the community is our number one priority. 

In most cases, asbestos found in our area is non-friable. This type poses a lower risk due to the fibres being bound together with cement type material. NSW Health outline that this type of asbestos, if in good condition or left undisturbed, does not present a significant health risk. Further information on asbestos can be found on NSW Health website.

Council’s Divisional Assurance Team respond and manage asbestos related matters that impact Council owned land and buildings. When asbestos is found, strict procedures are implemented to ensure that the community and our workers are safe. The team works with licensed asbestos contractors, licensed asbestos assessors, consultants, and NSW Hazmat units to ensure that all SafeWork NSW and Environment Protection Authority requirements are met. This includes (but is not limited to) removing any asbestos risks, implementing suitable controls, undertaking air monitoring and clearance inspections in accordance with SafeWork NSW Code of Practice and undertake detailed environmental Investigations where more complex situations arise.

To meet all these requirements and depending on the complexity of the situation, it can take some time to undertake all necessary investigation, clean up the site and conduct remediation works. Suitable controls are implemented and we strive to provide effective communication to the public in proximity to the site and any groups or organisations who use the site on these matters.

We take every asbestos matter seriously and take all measures necessary to protect our community and workers.

Robinson Park, Jamsiontown

27 September 2019

During an inspection of Robinson Park Park on the 27th September 2019, Council staff identified several fragments of suspected asbestos containing material (ACM) on the ground surface.

As soon as the suspected ACM was discovered, Council staff immediately implemented strict procedures to make the area safe. On the same day the fragments were removed by a licensed asbestos contractor with the site being assessed by an independent SafeWork NSW licensed asbestos assessor. The good news is that this assessor has provided a clearance certificate for the site and declared it safe. 

Non-friable asbestos in good condition does not pose a health risk as the asbestos fibres are bound together, however, Council views any asbestos contamination as a serious matter.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Victoria Street, Werrington

30 September 2019

Recently, suspected non-friable asbestos fragments were discovered on vacant Council land located at 176 Victoria Street, Werrington (west of the Colonial Hotel).  

As soon as the suspected asbestos was found, Council staff immediately implemented strict procedures to make the area safe. In turn, the asbestos containing material was removed.

As a precaution, Council has fenced off the area pending further investigations of the site. These investigation will be undertaken by a Licensed Asbestos Assessor and will ensure that all SafeWork NSW and Environment Protection Authority requirements are followed.

Penrith City Council takes every asbestos incident seriously. The safety of residents and secure removal of materials is our number one priority.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Kommer Place, St Marys

4 September 2019

As you may be aware Council recently found suspected asbestos containing material on the road reserve island adjacent to Kommer Place, St Marys.

As soon as the suspected ACM was discovered, Council staff immediately implemented strict procedures to make the area safe. At the time the area was assessed by an independent SafeWork NSW licensed asbestos assessor who issued a clearance certificate for the site. Air monitoring was also undertaken in line with SafeWork NSW requirements and these results confirmed there were no concerns regarding airborne asbestos fibres from the site impacting the community.

As part of Council’s assessment of the situation, a Licensed Asbestos Assessor has been engaged to undertake further environmental investigations of this land. The work was undertaken on the 11 September 2019 (weather permitting) and will involve sampling from 15 test pits within the fenced off area. All SafeWork NSW and Environment Protection Authority requirements will be met during these investigations, including air monitoring to ensure that there are no airborne asbestos concerns.

Council is still awaiting the final environmental report, however a small section at the northern end of the land is being covered in geofabric as a precaution under the advice of the Licensed Asbestos Assessor.

Penrith City Council takes every asbestos incident seriously. The safety of residents, Council workers, the community and your pets is our number one priority.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Jamison Park Dog Park

15 October 2019

Penrith City Council recently informed the community of asbestos remediation works at Jamison Park Dog Park, South Penrith. These works are currently being conducted by a licenced asbestos removal company and a Licensed Asbestos Assessor.

The initial remediation action plan and design was proposed to be finalised by September 2019. Unfortunately, due to unexpected time delays, the remediation project has exceeded this estimated completion date.

Council appreciates that the project is taking longer than initially expected to complete, however, it is vital that all necessary safety and environmental requirements have been addressed. Please note, the remediation works at the Park are almost complete, with a revised completion date expected for November 2019.

While remediation takes place, a smaller, temporary dog park has been provided immediately to the south of the existing park and will be available for the community’s use. Council has a number of other dog parks across the local government area if you decide that you would like to take your dog to an alternative dog park. These are located at:

  • Soling Crescent, Cranebrook
  • Village Oval, Jordan Springs
  • Saddler Way, Glenmore Park
  • Wedmore Road, Emu Heights
  • Victoria Street, Werrington
  • Melville Road, St Clair
  • Boronia Road, North St Marys

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Saunders Park Asbestos Update

9 August 2019

Penrith City Council recently wrote to you regarding asbestos that was found in areas of Saunders Park, St Clair. The investigations undertaken revealed that areas of the site are impacted by asbestos containing material. All the material is situated underground and air monitoring undertaken during the investigations showed that there was no risk to the public.

The remediation area does present a number of complications that need to be considered and addressed through the remediation process. These include:

• Working with Telstra and Sydney Water in terms of their infrastructure that falls within the remediation area.
• The playing fields act as a flood mitigation area; any changes to the area also need to consider flooding impacts.
• Overland flow pathways which can not be impacted and need to be engineered to ensure that overland flow is not impacted.

Council’s Design and Projects Team is leading the design and implementation of this project and will be working with all stakeholders (including Telstra and Sydney Water) to facilitate a suitable design. In the interim, Council will continue to manage the controls on site. These include the temporary fencing, geofabric and signage.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter or if you notice any issues with the controls, please contact Council on (02) 4732 8673

Steamroller Park Update

9 August 2019

Since June this year Council has been keeping residents informed on progress at Steamroller Park after asbestos containing material was found in the Park. As outlined previously, environmental investigations revealed that areas of the site were impacted by small quantities of non-friable (bonded) asbestos below the ground surface.

As you may have seen, remediation works have recently been undertaken in the middle and north west sections of the park. This area was stage one of the project.

Council has now completed the remediation design requirements for the final stage of the project (Stage Two). Stage Two will include:

  • Replacement of the middle pathway with a new 1.5m wide concrete pathway
  • Creation of two raised landscaped areas along the southern side of the site
  • Completion of the playground including appropriate hardstand, landscaping and amenities.
  • Turfing and landscaping of the mounds created during Stage One of the project.
  • Validation of all remediation works

Council appreciates that it has taken some time to get to this stage, however it was imperative that all the necessary safety and environmental requirements have been addressed and signed off by an Independent Licensed Asbestos Assessor.

As part of the project Council has also taken the opportunity to provide some further enhancements to the park. This includes additional landscaping and trees and a water bubbler, which is proposed to be located in the playground area.

Please see below for an indicative plan outlining the playground and park upgrades.

steamroller park map

During Stage Two works there will be an increase in truck movements to the site. These truck movements will be appropriately managed to minimise any impact on the road network and the surrounding residents.

Over the next few weeks, Council will also engage specialist contractors to mow the park. In addition we will aim to have the north section of the park reopened to the public.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Chesham Street, St Marys

16 August 2019

Recently Council staff have been made aware of non-friable asbestos below the surface at 11-13 Chesham Street, St Marys. These concerns were established through environmental investigations undertaken on site. In addition, the site has also been subject to illegal dumping.

Non-friable asbestos in good condition does not pose a health risk as the asbestos fibres are bound together, however, Council views any asbestos contamination as a serious matter.

The environmental investigation found that the concerns related to non-friable asbestos below the ground surface. A Clearance Certificate issued by an independent Licensed Asbestos Assessor has confirmed this. Air monitoring has been undertaken in line with SafeWork NSW requirements and confirmed there are no concerns regarding airborne asbestos fibres from the site impacting the community.

Council staff have implemented strict controls to ensure the ongoing safety of the community and our staff. This includes fencing the area off to restrict access. In addition, Council will be implementing measures to minimise the risk of illegally dumping on the site.

Penrith City Council takes every asbestos incident seriously. The safety of residents, Council workers and your pets is our number one priority.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Hickeys Lane, Penrith

Environmental Investigations are also planned for the open space area between Hickey’s Lane and Hillcrest Ave, North Penrith. This area was used an old storage and disposal area for Council operations in the 1990s. 

In late 1990s the site did receive some remediation treatments including site capping. It is important to note that the site does not currently pose a risk to users, however, to ensure the long-term safety of the site for all park users and Council workers, a detailed environmental investigation is being undertaken. The investigation is due to commence on the 6 May 2019 and will take approximately four weeks to complete.

These investigations will include the collection of soil, groundwater and gas data as well as an assessment of the embankment along the western side of the site.

Suitable fencing and signage will remain in place at both parks and at Hickeys Lane during the investigations and all adjacent residents and relevant stakeholders will be informed prior to the commencement of the investigations.

Penrith City Council takes every asbestos incident seriously. The safety of residents and secure removal of materials is our number one priority.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673